Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Saturday, November 15, 2008 BRENDA, Community Member, asks

Q: HAVE SEVERE PAIN IN LEFT RIB AREA, SHORT BREATH, DREAD COUGHING, HURTS SO BAD?

WENT TO DOCTER, DID BLOOD LABS, RECEIVED SHOT OF STEROIDS.  NO HELP, RETURNED TO DOCTER, ORDERED PFT TEST AND I WORE OXYGEN THING ON MY FINGER FOR EIGHT HOURS OVERNIGHT.  RECEIVED CALL FROM HOME HEALTH, DELIVERING OXYGEN ONE WEEK AGO TODAY.  BEEN SLEEPING ON 2 LT OXYGEN OVERNIGHT, STILL WAKE BETWEEN 1 AND 3 AM COUGHING MY HEAD OFF, SPITTING UP CLEAR, BUBBLY FLEM, SEEMS AS THOUGH COMING FROM SINUS, AND HEAD.  RID MYSELF OF THIS, TAKES AN HOUR OR TWO TO DO THIS.  THEN SLEEP FINALLY COMES AGAIN FOR COUPLE OF HOURS, BEFORE ALARM OR COUGHING RETURNS.  DOESNT COME ABOUT IN DAY, WORK AT HOME, ON SEE SHORTNESS OF BREATH WHEN UP AND ABOUT DOING HOUSEWORK.  NOW I SUSPECT PLUREISY IN LEFT SIDE.  RETURNED TO DOC TODAY, GAVE RX FOR BIAXIN, AND MEDROL PACK.  CAME HOME TOOK SHORT 1 HOUR NAP, AND MY DAUGHTER HAD TO HELP ME GET OUT OF BED.  DREAD COUGHS, HAVE WRAPPED MY RIBS IN AC BANDAGE TO CONTROL PAIN.  AM I IN A MEDICAL EMERGENCY HERE?  HAVE BEEN RESEARCHING SYMPTOMS ON WEB.  ASTHMA?  PLUREISY? PNEUMONIA? COLLAPSED LUNG?  DOCTER GAVE NO DIAGNOSIS, AND HAD MISPLACED RESULTS OF TESTS.  TOLD ME TO COME BACK IF I DIDNT GET BETTER. 

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Answers (4)
Martin Cane, M.D., Health Pro
11/19/08 10:47pm

Brenda,

 

Thanks for your question.  Sorry you're having such difficulty at this time.

 

We have seen a number of patients with a prolonged respiratory illness characterized by severe coughing spasms with production of significant amounts of mucus.  In most cases the cause is a virus, but with symptoms that just seem to go on forever, doctors are compelled to go further, using medication to suppress the cough, dry the secretions, reduce the inflammation (steroids), and even resort to broad spectrum antibiotics.  The essence of time seems to be the best cure.

 

Having said all of the above, if a patient has the symptoms as described without improvment, then further evaluation should be considered to be sure there is no treatable cause that might be overlooked.  A chest x-ray will be helpful in detecting pneumonia (viral and bacterial), collapsed lung, or other major intra-thoracic problems. 

 

The pain you are experiencing is from a bruised or cracked rib, or a separation of the cartilage from the rib itself.  This is caused by your sever cough.  Bracing yourself with a pillow, thus immobilizing that portion of the chest wall will help during cough spells.  A heating pad (not too hot) and ibuprofen for the pain will also be helpful.  This discomfort will take weeks to clear.

 

So be sure to follow up with your doctor for further evaluation, if necessary, and get the results of the studies done so far. 

 

Best wishes and feel better.

 

Martin Cane, M.D.

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Sharon Leger, Community Member
2/22/09 11:22am

It sounds like you are talking about my symptoms!  Hurts under left rib - also pain radiates from under my arm-pit into my chest and up the side of my neck.  Bent down yesterday and intense pain around my sternum...  Hurt like blazes to get myself into bed for awhile.  Have been for stress test last week and they tried to bring on my symptoms (nothing happened).  Tomorrow I go for radio active material being injected to see how the blood goes into and out of my heart, at rest. I then skip a day and they inject me again with another stress test. During acute attacks, TUMS seem to help a little.....Good luck with your search.  If we keep in touch, maybe we will be able to help one another as to what is being done for each of us.  If anyone has any further ideas, please let us know.

Many thanks in advance,

 

Sharon

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tarloeyx, Community Member
6/19/09 3:58pm

I HAVE THESE EXACT SYMPTOMS, WITH THE ADDITION OF PINK SPUTUM BEING COUGHED UP. EVERYTIME I VISIT THE ER FOR ASTHMA, I INQUIRE AS TO WHAT IS CAUSING THIS. THE DOCTORS RESPOND IN A DISMISSIVE MANNER AND I AM VERY FRUSTRATED. THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR ALMOST A YEAR NOW AND I CAN'T UNDERSTAND HOW A PERSON CAN HAVE THESE SYMPTOMS AND COUGH UP PINK (PRESENCE OF BLOOD) SPUTUM AND DOCTORS NOT RESPOND WITH SOME SENSE OF URGENCY. I AM IN THE PROCESS OF TRYING TO OBTAIN MEDICAL INSURANCE IN ORDER TO SEE A SPECIALIST. I JUST HOPE I DON'T SEE A MORTICIAN FIRST.

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crs3153, Community Member
1/21/11 12:59pm

febuary 13th 2009 at 8:20pm i was laying in bed watching tv. all of a sudden it felt like someone stuck a flaming knife into the left side of my ribcage. i layed there for 20 mins hoping it would go away. it didn't so i asked my wife to take me to the ER (not something i would ask) in the last 23 months i've seen at least 30 doctors (shuffled from one clueless ****** to the next) i've been poked, prodded, stabbed, xrayed, triple phase bone scanned, MRI'd, CT'd, echo'd, stress tested, offended and commited. but still nobody can tell me why my chest hurts. to be honest with you i really don't think they give a damn. breathing hurts, stretching hurts, it doesn't matter what i do. it'll hurt just as bad laying in bed as it does mowing the lawn ect. i've taken everything they've told me to and done everything they've said, i really don't want to feel this way anymore. it's tough going thru life wishing your next breath could be your last.

 

 

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By BRENDA, Community Member— Last Modified: 10/27/13, First Published: 11/15/08